An event planned by the secreteve Crans Montana Forum, condemned by the African Union, is about to take place in occupied Western Sahara. The organiser fails to answer questions from WSRW regarding their organisation, such as who is on the board and who is financing the event.
The Monaco-Swiss group Crans Montana has failed to answer basic questions from Western Sahara Resource Watch as to how they operate. WSRW has contacted the group on three occasions the last month.
The group is about to organise an event in the occupied territory, even labelling the territory as "Moroccan". Crans Montana claims also to have a sub-section, called the African Women's Forum, which is to have a work-shop in Dakhla. The women's forum is alleged to be composed of numerous international personalities. As WSRW has found it hard to believe such persons have been accepting the proposal to organise the controversial event on the occupied land with the occupying power, WSRW saught clarification of their role. See the presentatin of its women's forum, including its alleged honorary committee.
WSRW contacted the group on 2 Februrary 2015, with repeated identical mails on 17 and 27 February. See the mail below.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, Feb 2, 2015 at 4:33 PM
Subject: Regarding Crans Montana meeting in Western Sahara
Dear Crans Montana Forum,
Western Sahara Resource Watch (WSRW) takes note of the announcement on your website that Crans Montana will organise an event in «Dakhla, Morocco» in March this year under the "patronage of the Moroccan King".
We expect that you know that the UN General Assembly has condemned the Moroccan occupation of the territory in which Dakhla is located, and that the territory is not internationally recognised as part of Morocco. Organising any such event in Western Sahara thus has highly unfortunate political consequences.
WSRW wishes to hear from your company:
1. Who is on the board of Crans Montana Forum?
2. According to a sentence on your website, Crans Montana Forum is «Swiss owned and managed». WSRW cannot locate any company registered in Switzerland that seems to be associated with Crans Montana. Which companies or individuals in Switzerland are owning and/or managing Crans Montana Forum S.A.M.?
3. Who is funding this event in Dakhla?
4. Has Crans Montana Forum S.A.M. or its owners/managers or the associations that finance the event received any sort of funding from the Moroccan government?
5. Was the the Honorary Committee of Crans Montana African Women's Forum involved in the decision to arrange the meeting in Western Sahara?
6. Has the Honorary Committee of Crans Montana African Women's Forum or the Personalities enlisted on Crans Forum website been informed that the event is not actually taking place in Morocco, but in the territory that Morocco is illegally occupying?
7. What is the role of the large number of 'personalities' enlisted on the above mentioned document? Have they been informed that Crans Montana is organising this event under the patronage of the Moroccan king at a location falling outside of Moroccan territory as internationally recognised?
Awaiting for your answers, WSRW wishes to express that it supports the ideals of peace and dialogue as noted on your webpages, and, on that basis, urges you to move the event to any other place in Africa which is not under foreign occupation.
Looking forward to hear from you,
WSRW’s repeated questions on the organisation’s structure or financial backers for the contested event on occupied land remain unanswered.
The African Union has issued a strong declaration condemning the plans of the Swiss organisation Crans Montana to hold their Forum in Dakhla, occupied Western Sahara, "as it is a grave violation of the International Law". Read the full Declaration here.
A new report published by WSRW today reveals the names of around 100 shipping companies behind the transport of phosphate rock from occupied Western Sahara in 2016 and 2017.
The Erasmus+ financed youth exchange that was supposed to take place in Dakhla, occupied Western Sahara, has reportedly been moved.